Thursday, 3 August 2017

Black Wednesday

It wasn't quite as bad as Norman Lamont's experience in 1992, but yesterday was not kind to the KCC contingent at the British Championships. Half a point out of four is pretty disastrous, however, you cut it. Ben managed our sole draw in his morning tournament, so the afternoon session saw us go 0-0-0 - and I don't mean queenside castling.

Paul seemed to be playing a good controlled game against a WGM from Poland (how she qualifies for the British, I'm not sure!) but when I returned to his board around the time control, his position had been decimated and the end was inevitable. Something clearly went horribly wrong. I thought I was playing a good game, but near the time control my opponent found some good counterplay and I reacted badly. I was completely busted, but he played one inaccurate move (which won the exchange rather than the game!) and I found some clever moves to get my small army aiming at his king. I sacked a bishop which he couldn't take as it was perpetual, but declining it looked like possible suicide as my three pieces chased his king across the board. However, when I had to play one non-check, he found the only winning move - a far from obvious bishop retreat - and it was all over.  Ben tells me he should have won his morning game, but in the afternoon he "played like a drain. And not a particularly good one."

Tuesday had been much better for us. Ben had two draws with Black against strong opposition, I got a draw after some strange adventures, and Paul won against one of those dreaded juniors by simply completely outplaying him.

So, we're all over half way now and the standings are:-

Paul 2/5
Me 2/4
Ben 1/3 and 1.5/3

All eyes are now on Paul to see if he will actually draw a game in the tournament or continue his run of decisive games. BTW, while Paul does battle today against an ungraded Irishman on Board 38, his extremely fortunate first round conqueror will be playing Gawain Jones on Board 2. Fine margins!

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